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Language for Work – Tools for professional development: Looking back, looking forward

Language for Work – Tools for professional development: Looking back, looking forward

12 January 2018

The coordinating team of the project, Language for work – Tools for professional development (LfW) held its expert meeting in Graz on 7th and 8th December 2017. With it the team closed a very busy and eventful year and prepared the floor for the activities of the project’s final year.

A printed exemplar of the Language for Work – a quick guide. How to help adult migrants develop work-related development of language skills welcomed the team at ECML. Members and interested persons will find the English version on the project’s website. Versions in French and German will be soon online. Versions in further languages have been arranged. Members are invited to translate the Quick Guide into ‘their’ languages and disseminate it. If you can support the dissemination of this practical tool for professionals to support the linguistic integration of migrants, please contact the team at lfwnetwork@ecml.at for a template and any support needed. In addition to the Quick Guide, two other sets of guidelines for, respectively, decision-makers and staff in public services (including labour market administration) are ready in German. They aim at supporting social services to lower barriers when communicating with migrants. An English version as basis for further translations will be ready at the beginning of 2018. Interested members are welcome to translate and disseminate these guidelines as well.

In 2017 the team has been involved in a series of events to progress and disseminate the project and Network. The central event was the network meeting held in Graz on 1st and 2nd June. This attracted 26 experts from 16 countries including Canada and the Russian Federation (Moscow State Linguistic University). The participants provided examples of practice for the compendium of ways to support the development of work-related L2 skills, advised the team in central issues such as how to structure the tools for professional development. The team was also invited to various national and internationals events to present the LfW project and network: e. g.  symposia such the UN Language, the Sustainable Development Goals, and Vulnerable Populations, New York, and the meeting on integration for the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees, of the agency the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Geneva, both in May; and The Changing Context of Migration and LESLLA , in Portland Oregon, in August. Such prominent invitations as well as the numerous publications give evidence that work-related second language development is an increasingly recognised field and the network with it.

The project’s main event next year will be the final workshop in Graz on 23rd and 24th October 2018, where the team will present the following tools to advance practitioners’ professional development

  • A quick guide, How to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills
  • Guidelines for decision-makers and staff in public services to facilitate communication with migrant clients
  • Ways to support work-related language development, including a compendium of practice examples
  • Overview of practitioner competences indicated for different types of support
  • Language for Work Network resource centre

This workshop will offer networking opportunities with experts (including teacher trainers working in the fields of adult second language learning and vocational education and training; researchers with an interest in work-related language development; national skills policy makers; workforce development professionals; employer and trade union representatives). Participants to this event are selected by the national agencies, so colleagues interested in attending should contact their national agency. If you want information about how to do this, please contact the project team at lfwnetwork@ecml.at

Between now and October 2018 a busy time awaits the LfW team, to finalise the project’s products.

In the meantime we wish you a peaceful Christmas and a Good New year with this picture of Graz in advent.

Quick Guide

Language for Work Network website

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